Friday, 20 April 2018

Fino La Barajuela 2014 16%, Luis Pérez

Bright mid brassy gold with golden highlights.
Full, rounded and quite complex with notes of straw and a hint of fruit: ripe apple, quince and ripe grape pulp. There is a restrained note of flor which balances well with the fruit and there is a gentle mineral salinity from the soil, and a general feeling of weight from the extra ripeness of the grapes.
Clean and very fresh with an attractive tension between the flor, decent acidity and the fruit, it has a lovely tanginess too, not to mention a slightly dry chalky mineral feel. It is different from the usual Fino being fruitier as it is made the old fashioned way and the result is a very sophisticated and interesting wine with lots of flavour and terrific length.
Made with Palomino grapes from the El Corregidor vineyard at the heart of the inland pago Carrascal. The soil here is one of the many kinds of albariza: barajuela, which is composed of very thin layers which resemble the side of a pack of cards (baraja). The vines are over 40 years old so the yield is low. The harvest is picked in various passes over a two month period to achieve the ideal ripeness for the various wines. The first grapes, not yet ripe enough for wine, are used for a brandy project and the next ones, which will be used for the Fino, are sun dried for a day or more to increase sugar content as the wine will not be fortified. The must is filled unfiltered straight into butts where it ferments without temperature control. After fermentation a selection is made as to whether the wine will be aged biologically or oxidatively and the level of wine in the butts selected for Fino is kept comparatively high so that the flor will not overpower the character of the vineyard. The ageing of the wines is assiduously observed as the flor yeast strains can vary. This is one of the very few vintage Sherries, and one of the fewer still which are not fortified and has a DO Sherry. It might seem expensive for a Fino, but an enormous amount of work has gone into it, and it is delicious. The back label has a little block with the blank symbols of una palma, dos palmas, tres palmas and cuatro palmas with the una palma symbol overprinted, so one wonders what else might be in the pipeline...
35.50 euros, Licores Corredera

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